The Buzzkill News About Drinking Alcohol

New research undermines wishful thinking

Robert Roy Britt
Elemental
Published in
5 min readAug 23, 2019

--

Credit: Enrique Díaz / 7cero/Getty Images

ItIt was so comforting to think that a daily glass of wine or a stiff drink packed health benefits, warding off disease and extending life. But a distillation of the latest research reveals a far more sobering truth: Considering all the potential benefits and risks, some researchers now question whether any amount of alcohol can be considered good for you.

Compared with lifetime teetotalers, people who consume seven to 13 drinks a week are 53% more likely to have high blood pressure, defined as 130/80 or higher, according to a recent study of 17,059 U.S. adults published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

High blood pressure, known as the “silent killer,” raises the risk of heart attack, stroke, and dementia. The study’s lead researcher, Amer Aladin of Wake Forest Baptist Health, offers some frank advice: “If you are drinking a moderate or large amount of alcohol, ask your provider to check your blood pressure at each visit and help you cut down your drinking and eventually quit.”

For years, moderate drinking — typically defined as one drink (such as regular beer or a glass of wine) per day for women and up to two for men — had been billed as a way to reduce the risk of stroke, in which a vessel carrying blood to…

--

--

Robert Roy Britt
Elemental

Editor of Aha! and Wise & Well on Medium + the Writer's Guide at writersguide.substack.com. Author of Make Sleep Your Superpower: amazon.com/dp/B0BJBYFQCB